In support of Endometriosis Week, clinicians and staff at The Clementine Churchill Hospital on Sudbury Hill have been working to raise awareness within their local community of the debilitating condition which affects two million women in the UK.
Endometriosis is a condition where cells like the ones in the lining of the womb (uterus) are found elsewhere in the body affecting the organs and tissue of the pelvis. Every month, women undergo hormonal changes and release hormones which increase the lining of the womb in preparation for a fertilised egg, which leads to pregnancy. In the absence of pregnancy, those cells in the uterus break down and are released from the body as a period. However, in women who have endometriosis, the cells outside the uterus also break down and bleed but have no way of being released from the body, causing inflammation, pain and the growth of scar tissue.
Mr Alvan Priddy, Consultant Gynaecologist at BMI The Clementine Churchill Hospital explains “Endometriosis symptoms include chronic pelvic pain, tiredness and depression, heavy or irregular periods, pain during or after sex, problems with the bowels or bladder as well as problems difficulties in conceiving. Symptoms of endometriosis can vary from mild to severe, but if you have a combination of any of these symptoms or have any concerns you should visit your GP or specialist to be properly diagnosed.”
Mr Priddy continues: “The Clementine Churchill Hospital offers a comprehensive gynaecological check-up service, including pelvic examination, ultrasound and laparoscopy, which is the only procedure available to diagnose endometriosis.”
The actual cause of endometriosis is unknown and there is currently no cure, though there are a number of different treatments available. However, it is important that treatment takes into account several factors relating to the woman as an individual, such as age, severity of symptoms and the desire to have children. This is why The Clementine Churchill Hospital recommends women seek the advice of their specialist women’s health team, who are available to provide information, support and advice on the types of screening and treatment available.
For more information about the women’s health services offered by BMI Healthcare, please go to: http://www.bmihealthcare.co.uk/womens-health